He was speaking from the heart. At this point, if he became the Cave Master, he would be restrained by East Arrival Cave’s affairs, and lose the freedom to go wherever he wanted. Not to mention, East Arrival Cave was already under his control. It didn’t matter if he had the hollow title of Cave Master or not. He would reconsider the matter if it was a Mountain Chieftain title instead though.
"I am not joking with you. If I said that I can do it, then I will." Qin Weiwei reassured him.
"Your subordinate is not attempting to be courteous," said Miao Yi, as he politely refused again.
Qin Weiwei thought he was doing so because her words were too direct; thus, making it difficult for the other party to accept. After all, given the rules of the current system, who wouldn’t be willing?
She tried again to reassure him of her sincerity but Miao Yi was adamant with his refusal. She found it difficult to comprehend the reason, but she stopped trying to force the issue.
After thinking for a moment, she gave a nod and said, "Since you aren’t willing to become the Cave Master; and being the Steed Deputy isn’t suitable for you as well; why don’t I transfer you from East Arrival Cave to Mount Calming Sea, and let you manage the city under Mount Calming Sea’s jurisdiction?"
Hong Mian and Lu Liu immediately smiled, they felt the direction the Mountain Chieftain was going at Miao Yi with was truly wonderful. If he really transferred over, then they would be able to meet with one another every day from then on.
They would never have suspected that after hearing this, Miao Yi would go into complete shock. He felt that this woman’s methods were really on an entirely different plane. She actually went a whole circle just to try and strip him of his forces. Once he was transferred away from East Arrival Cave, the forces of East Arrival Cave would no longer be under his command. This was his foundation for taking the prized seat of Mountain Chieftain in the future. She was trying to isolate him.
"No, no, no. Mountain Chieftain. I think it is best for me to remain in East Arrival Cave as the Steed Deputy," Miao Yi immediately plead with cupped fists.
He had no choice but to lower his head since he was under the other person’s roof. After all, she had full authority in her hands.
"Isn’t being a Steed Deputy too humble a post for you?" asked Qin Weiwei in curiosity. "Rest assured, you will not earn any less from when you were East Arrival Cave’s Cave Master, if you work by my side."
"It isn’t too humble. Not too humble at all!" said Miao Yi, hurriedly waving his hands.
‘What’s wrong with being a Steed Deputy? Sure, being a Steed Deputy with no authority is bad. However, it’s a completely different story for a Steed Deputy who has authority.’ Within the entire cultivation realm, Miao Yi was probably the only one who knew what that was like. There wasn’t another Steed Deputy out there who wielded authority like he did, so naturally, he would know best what that feeling was like.
Even though he was the Steed Deputy, how could he really be expected to do something like releasing the steeds to graze within East Arrival Cave? If someone did, he could immediately crumble East Arrival Cave’s forces and dissolve them. Once the Commandment of Conformity was breached, all the School of Blue Jade disciples would have to scuttle back to where they came from. No one could hope to get any benefits from him.
Not only did the current East Arrival Cave Master Yan Xiu not have any such thoughts, it was useless even if he did have any intents of usurping Miao Yi. The School of Blue Jade disciples would not listen to him, because the one that decided whether they could continue to stay within the system was Miao Yi.
That was why ever since he became East Arrival Cave’s Steed Deputy, he had never once let the horses out. Naturally, someone would do that for him. Now, he even had a substitute for dealing with those arbitrary affairs requiring the Cave Master’s personal presence. Miao Yi could focus solely on his cultivation and was only required to manage the Cave’s general direction of progress.
There was an even greater benefit. Now he could go wherever he wanted. So long as he said the word, Yan Xiu wouldn’t be able to refuse even if wanted to. Furthermore, every time the superior’s asked, Yan Xiu would even have to bite the bullet, and say stuff along the lines of Miao Yi being sent out to handle affairs on his behalf.
Qin Weiwei looked at him suspiciously.
Seeing as she hadn’t yet agreed, Miao Yi became a little anxious. All he could do was shamelessly smile and ask, "Mountain Chieftain. Didn’t you say that we…., we’re friends? Then, you know…"
He didn’t finish his sentence, but what he implied was quite clear—‘Since you said you want to be my friend, then help me out like one.’
Seeing him admit that they were friends himself, Qin Weiwei’s eyes brightened. Her snow-white dress fluttered as she stood up from behind the long table. Then, she went around it and walked over to Miao Yi, before raising her jade-like palm before him.
Miao Yi also stood in surprise, but he didn’t understand what her intent was.
"Friends!" hinted Qin Weiwei.
Miao Yi finally understood. She wanted them to slap their palms together as a pledge to reaffirm their friendship.
Since he had something to request of the other person, how could he deny her something as trivial as this? At times, even Miao Yi was capable of reading the mood. However, he was a little hesitant while he was raising his palm. He kept wondering—‘I won’t be digging my own grave right?’
Qin Weiwei wasn’t as reluctant as he was. When she saw that his hand was raised, she took the initiative and slapped it with her jade-like palm—a crisp clap rang out. Thus the matter was settled.
In that instant, the Qin Weiwei who was usually cold and distant before outsiders, abruptly opened her small mouth, and revealed a beautiful smile.
The beauty behind this smile would have been enough to shake anyone’s heart—Miao Yi was instantly stunned. He realized that this woman was truly beautiful when she smiled. It was such a shame that she always maintained such a solemn face.
However, he could understand why this was so. With Qin Weiwei’s position, she couldn’t afford to be too frivolous; otherwise, she would lose her prestige. This was especially true because she was a woman. Others would easily make light of her. Only by maintaining a strict demeanor for an extended period of time would she be able to induce fear in her subordinates.
Seeing him staring dazedly at her, Qin Weiwei could feel a pull at her heartstrings. She tried to conceal the embarrassment in her heart, by turning around and telling her personal handmaidens, "From this day forth, Miao Yi is my friend. There is no need to report his arrival when he comes to Mount Calming Sea, he can come look for me directly."
"Understood!" The two ladies stepped forward and respectfully lowered their bodies, "Hong Mian. Lu Liu. We respectfully greet Lord Miao!"
Their way of addressing him changed all too suddenly. Not to mention, it was such a lofty title.
However, this pedestal was a little too tall. Miao Yi was sweating buckets, and hurriedly cupped his fists, "Elder Auntie. Little Auntie. Please don’t be like this."
In his mind, he thought—‘What exactly is this woman scheming?’
The two ladies covered their mouths and giggled, "Since Lord Miao is Mountain Chieftain’s friend, from now on, if there aren’t any outsiders, you can just call us Hong Mian and Lu Liu."
"I wouldn’t dare!" Miao Yi cupped his fists, almost breaking out in a cold sweat
He didn’t expect what came next. Qin Weiwei began to solemnly say, "You are my first friend!"
"Uhhh….. Your subordinate is overwhelmed by your honor!"
"From now on when it’s just us, let’s stop calling each other by our titles. That would be too distant. I will call you Miao Yi, and you can call me by my name too. You can call me…., call me Weiwei as well…." When she said this, even Qin Weiwei herself could barely stop her face from blushing. Fortunately, she was used to keeping an indifferent expression, so it was easier for her to hide it.
‘Who is calling who, what now? Call you Weiwei? Oh heavens, save me please!’—Miao Yi’s expression twitched, "Your subordinate…."
He finally knew what it meant to be vicious this very day. A nimble knife was more vicious than a tough one when it comes to killing people. Previously, he thought this woman only had an average intellect. If she wasn’t fortunate enough to have a good father, she would probably…., but today he completely admitted defeat.
"I said that we can be friends when it’s just us, and to call each other by our names." Qin Weiwei admonished.
".....," Miao Yi’s expression looked like he had just eaten salted honey. There were no words to describe it. However, that wasn’t important. What was important was his own matters—he had something to request of the other person. He clenched his teeth and said, "Qin… Qin Weiwei, about my matter…"
When he called her name, Miao Yi felt completely awkward. It made it seem as though he had some intentions to pursue her.
Even Hong Mian and Lu Liu had weird expressions on their faces, much less Miao Yi himself. They seemed to be puffing out their cheeks to stop from giggling.
Qin Weiwei felt awkward listening to it as well. She felt as though her name was akin to a stiff rock bursting out from Miao Yi’s mouth. However, waves were rippling in her heart. Even if it was a stiff rock, being dropped into the lake of her heart would still stir up waves, and ripples as well.
"Since you’re not willing to, it’s fine. If you ever change your mind, you can look for me any time. I will do my best to help you solve it."
The Great Mountain Chieftain Qin was extremely faithful to her friends! Even her gaze was full of a bright, fiery glow when she looked at her friend.
Miao Yi felt like a great burden was lifted, but several things were still stressing his mind. He wanted to gather his thoughts and logically assess the reason why the other party was putting up this act today.
Several ideas instantly flashed through his mind as he weighed numerous possibilities. He even wondered—‘This woman couldn’t have fallen in love with me, right?’
However, he quickly scrapped this idea.
What kind of background did he have? He was an orphan and a street butcher that was always covered in grease.
Ever since he was young, no woman had ever liked him. How many of the opposite gender would like a butcher that was always dirty and covered in grease? How many families would be willing to have a son-in-law who had no parents, no background, and was even carrying two little dead weights with him?
Ever since he was young, no woman had ever fancied him. Only he had ever harbored intentions for another person.
He had secretly longed for Old Li’s daughter from the tofu shop, but when he went to her house to propose a marriage, even the matchmaker was kicked out.
When he was at his butcher shop by the street, he would display a naked desire whenever he saw a beautiful lady. However, no ladies were willing to come near to that dirty and greasy pig butcher shop. They would always circle around and away from him.
Back at Ancient City, when he saw Fairy Hong Chen descending from the skies, he was instantly bewitched by her divine and matchless beauty. That moment was instantly seared into his memory. However, the other person’s gaze only gently swept past him as she looked down. He was like an ant to her. Even showing him disdain would have been doing him a great honor, much less showing him fancy. She was a far off existence that he could only admire from the sidelines.
Even though once upon a time, Lao Bai lightly told him, "Beauties and fine liquors are just worldly things. Immersing oneself in them will leave one with no desire to improve oneself, and be unable to move forward. Thus, taking a wrong turn in life. If there truly exists an everlasting beauty, then she only waits for the day when the one to ravage her comes along, so why would she be unattainable?"
These words had struck a chord with him at the time. This was precisely the case of ‘A loud noise made by merely a few sounds’.
However, this didn’t change the fact that no woman had ever liked him. The realm Lao Bai was talking about was the absolute pinnacle, where one’s strength forced all into submission!
If any woman ever had, perhaps Qian’Er and Xue’Er would count. However, everyone knew that was different.
This was why Miao Yi had long since gotten used to it. He had gotten used to not experiencing love, so how could he believe that a woman would fancy him?
With Qin Weiwei, he believed this was all the more unlikely. He always kept in mind Qin Weiwei’s haughtiness and her dislike of him. He believed that was a form of loathing that stemmed from looking down on someone, as a result of her identity and background.
Yet, Miao Yi was a normal man and Qin Weiwei, a beautiful woman—enough that he would occasionally steal a glance or two. It wasn’t like he had never fantasized about her before.
However to his knowledge, once someone reached the point of ‘looking down’ on you, they would never be able to truly come to like you.
Not to mention, the events that transpired today were a stark contrast to how she was before. It was utterly questionable and wholly puzzling. Him even considering this, was because she fancied him, was just his wishful thinking.
This was why those kind of thoughts only stayed in Miao Yi’s mind for a fleeting moment, before immediately being tossed to the back of his head. He was used to not experiencing love, so he wouldn’t get any unseemly ideas.
"Prepare a set of wine and food. I wish to have a drink with Miao Yi."
Qin Weiwei didn’t know what was on his mind. but she turned to instruct the two handmaidens behind her.
"There’s no need for all that. I am under the Cave Master’s orders to complete a task…," Miao Yi hurriedly looked for an excuse to get away. He didn’t know what was going on at the moment, and was afraid that he would fall into some kind of trap if he stayed any longer. The unpredictability this woman displayed today had him somewhat terrified.
What could Yan Xiu possibly order him to do? Qin Weiwei clearly knew this was an excuse, but she wouldn’t go so far as to brazenly make him stay. As such, she didn’t manage to make Miao Yi stay for wine and, in the end, she let him leave.